Cumberland fa

Showing respect and support for the Cumberland Football family

We stand with the Cumberland Football family following the tragic passing of Carlisle United’s Dave Wilkes and John McKenna from Scotby FC.

This weekend was a sad one for local football, following the tragic news of the passing of Carlisle United’s Dave Wilkes, and then John McKenna from Scotby FC. 

Our thoughts are with both families, their friends and both clubs in what must be a difficult and challenging time. As a mark of respect, Cumberland FA have updated their profiles to a black background on all social media channels for the coming week.

Ben Snowdon, Cumberland FA CEO, said: "As an organisation I don’t think we can truly add to the wonderful tributes left for both men via various social media channels over the weekend, from those who knew them better than ourselves. 

Dave was synonymous with Carlisle United and his passing will be felt by so many with whom he played such an important role within their playing and personal development, and who held him in such high regard as not only the exceptional coach, but also as the truly decent human being he clearly was. 

John or ‘Big John’ as so many messages appear to affectionately refer to him as, played in this season’s Sunday County Cup Final. However, as Scotby FC said, he was not only a brilliant player, but an even better person. 

At times like these we are reminded that the game of football is just that; a trivial game that is just not important. 

However, the deep rooted friendships from being involved with clubs such as Carlisle United and Scotby, and the collective feeling of being part of a wider football family, do matter and are significant in being able to offer solace and support to those who knew Dave and John best. 

This, and the clear respect and the outpouring of love highlighted in the messages and action of the grassroots football community in Cumberland, can hopefully offer some comfort to Dave and John’s close family and friends.

If those affected by this tragic news need to talk to someone then please reach out to team-mates, officials, colleagues, the County FA or anyone who you feel comfortable talking to. 

Likewise, if you would like to access other forms of support then you can find out information regarding various bereavement support groups by clicking on the button below."